UPDATE: Campus donations reach milestone

By Daily Illini Staff Report

The University of Illinois’ $2.25 billion fundraising campaign is among the nation’s largest in higher education and officials announced a major milestone in the process Tuesday.

The Champaign campus had set a goal of raising $1.5 billion before the formal end of the campaign at the start of 2012 and $1 billion had already been raised in donations by Tuesday.

The public phase of the Brilliant Futures campaign was launched in June of 2007 at Chicago’s Navy Pier, but the campaign had been progressing quietly since July of 2003.

“The amazing pace at which we are moving toward our goal has been possible only because each member of the campus community has played a role in our success,” Chancellor Richard Herman said in a release Thursday. “Every faculty member whose work advances human knowledge, every staff member who helps create an environment where progress on our core mission can be made, every student who learns to be become a leader of the next generation builds connections with our alumni and friends.”

Contributions have increased more than 10 percent since last year and 5.2 percent more donors have contributed, according to the release. The next phase of the campaign includes a “significant emphasis” on scholarships,

“As we go forward, we will make certain that we will talk specifically about the significance and importance of scholarships and fellowships,” said Jim Schroeder, Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement. “We will raise support for not only access, but to ease affordability for attending U of I.”

This emphasis is also in addition to prior goals on increasing support for student and faculty programs and research.